An Introduction to David Trobisch

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Secret Alias
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:01 am

This is exactly what I am dealing with in the other thread. The modern mental illness of evaluating everyone's 'honesty' and integrity based on their agreement with one's core 'personal beliefs.'
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:12 am

toejam wrote:
toejam wrote:
Solstice wrote:Good video. But does anyone know if Trobisch leans toward HJ or MJ?
I just sent him an email to ask him this question. Will post the response if I get one.
Well, a few months late, but I finally received an answer. Here is Trobisch's response:

"[toejam], sorry for the delay. Your email got buried. In short, I think historians should work from the sources toward the events. This means, we first should try to understand the surviving gospels, including the canonical ones, as literary expressions of the second century before we reconstruct first century events. So this puts me in the middle of your scenario. I take the gospels serious as literature, which reflects historical events. But just how to distinguish what exactly happened and what not, is not what I am interested in. I like to listen to the voice that is speaking to me in the published narratives.
David"


I gotta say, I'm a little disappointed with his response. He totally dodged the question.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with abstaining from delivering an opinion on a subject which either does not interest one or is not something one considers oneself qualified to comment on.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

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MrMacSon
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:38 pm

David Trobisch wrote:
... we first should try to understand the surviving gospels, including the canonical ones, as literary expressions of the second century before we reconstruct first century events.
.
I think that, given the current state of knowledge about early Christian texts, & recent books about them, particularly Marcion, that is a prudent comment.
.

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toejam
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by toejam » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:51 pm

So... I sent Mr. Trobisch a follow up:

"Thanks for responding. I can't help but feel you dodged the question though LOL. Again, I'm not asking you what you claim to know - or even hold to strongly - but what you *suspect*? Am I right in saying that you at least accept that there was a historical Jesus? If you still feel you've already answered the question satisfactorily, that's OK. Feel free to ignore. I won't ask any further. I recently read your "Paul's Letter Collection" book and was very impressed. Keep up the good scholarship."

(just showing that I was being very polite :D)

And Trobisch responded once more, this time answering the question:

"There is little doubt in my mind that the wealth of Jesus traditions originated with a historical person. But historical facts do not carry meaning. They can be interpreted in many different ways.
Keep asking short questions.
David"


So there you go... Trobisch thinks there was a historical Jesus, but is hesitant in saying what kind of historical Jesus he was.
My study list: https://www.facebook.com/notes/scott-bignell/judeo-christian-origins-bibliography/851830651507208

maryhelena
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by maryhelena » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:37 pm

toejam wrote:So... I sent Mr. Trobisch a follow up:

"Thanks for responding. I can't help but feel you dodged the question though LOL. Again, I'm not asking you what you claim to know - or even hold to strongly - but what you *suspect*? Am I right in saying that you at least accept that there was a historical Jesus? If you still feel you've already answered the question satisfactorily, that's OK. Feel free to ignore. I won't ask any further. I recently read your "Paul's Letter Collection" book and was very impressed. Keep up the good scholarship."

(just showing that I was being very polite :D)

And Trobisch responded once more, this time answering the question:

"There is little doubt in my mind that the wealth of Jesus traditions originated with a historical person. But historical facts do not carry meaning. They can be interpreted in many different ways.
Keep asking short questions.
David"


So there you go... Trobisch thinks there was a historical Jesus, but is hesitant in saying what kind of historical Jesus he was.
Ah - but a 'historical person' does not necessary mean someone going by the name of 'Jesus'. i.e. Jesus could simply be the 'meaning' that has been ascribed to a historical person.

And that, of course, is where the Carrier mythicists fall down. It is far more probable that the tradition of the Jesus story, stories, developed from meaning given to a historical person, or persons, than the tradition came about through a cosmic Christ figure being historicized. Invisible spirits might well be the 'thing' for some people - but inspiration for upping the game plan for living on terra-firma comes from those who shared the experiences of flesh and blood.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

Ulan
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by Ulan » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:39 am

maryhelena wrote:Ah - but a 'historical person' does not necessary mean someone going by the name of 'Jesus'. i.e. Jesus could simply be the 'meaning' that has been ascribed to a historical person.
True. I'm sure that was implied. It all depends on how much you believe our extant texts have been tampered with. If you think that the tampering was limited, a historical background is simply the easiest explanation. Of course, if you think the tampering was a bit more involved, things become less clear.
maryhelena wrote:And that, of course, is where the Carrier mythicists fall down. It is far more probable that the tradition of the Jesus story, stories, developed from meaning given to a historical person, or persons, than the tradition came about through a cosmic Christ figure being historicized. Invisible spirits might well be the 'thing' for some people - but inspiration for upping the game plan for living on terra-firma comes from those who shared the experiences of flesh and blood.
The sheer existence of the Mormon faith proves you wrong in this regard. Mormonism is a polytheistic faith where the believer's goal is to become the god of his own planet (modern interpretation transforms this somewhat). It's a revelation by an angel named Moroni, if we go by the book ("proven" by "eyewitness" accounts). The book of Mormon tells us lots of detail about the history of the Americas, their civilizations and about Jesus' visits there. Mormon scholars go on archeological digs to find Nephite remains. Most Mormons I talked to think that those archeological proofs have simply not been found yet because the Americas are big, the jungle covers everything, searches are done at the wrong place, etc.

The LDS relationship to history is a truly interesting one. My suggestion is this Ph.D. thesis from 2011:
History through Seer Stones: Mormon Historical Thought
The relevant "history" Mormon faith is based on is summarized in pp. 1-9 of the original document (= pp. 8-16 of the pdf). It gives a wonderful insight into how the human mind processes history, or what it thinks history is.

By the way, it's also a good example how, when a faith grows, it tries to polish the harsh edges somewhat. Old mainstays of faith become allegorized and the whole community gets pushed into more mainstream waters.

There are even more parallels: the family of the founder has been marginalized and represents a very small community with quite different tenets of faith from what most people know as Mormonism. They are much closer to standard Christianity and seem to be in the process of merging back into the mainstream. The bulk of the faithful had been taken over by a charismatic leader who put his own stamp on the faith. Well, even that looks somewhat familiar.

I think studying the history of the LDS and Mormonism should be on the schedule of everyone who dives into the relationship of history and religion.
Last edited by Ulan on Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

maryhelena
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by maryhelena » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:31 am

Ulan wrote:
maryhelena wrote:Ah - but a 'historical person' does not necessary mean someone going by the name of 'Jesus'. i.e. Jesus could simply be the 'meaning' that has been ascribed to a historical person.
True. I'm sure that was implied. It all depends on how much you believe our extant texts have been tampered with. If you think that the tampering was limited, a historical background is simply the easiest explanation. Of course, if you think the tampering was a bit more involved, things become less clear.
maryhelena wrote:And that, of course, is where the Carrier mythicists fall down. It is far more probable that the tradition of the Jesus story, stories, developed from meaning given to a historical person, or persons, than the tradition came about through a cosmic Christ figure being historicized. Invisible spirits might well be the 'thing' for some people - but inspiration for upping the game plan for living on terra-firma comes from those who shared the experiences of flesh and blood.
The sheer existence of the Mormon faith proves you wrong in this regard. Mormonism is a polytheistic faith where the believer's goal is to become the god of his own planet (modern interpretation transforms this somewhat). It's a revelation by an angel named Moroni, if we go by the book ("proven" by "eyewitness" accounts). The book of Mormon tells us lots of detail about the history of the Americas, their civilizations and about Jesus' visits there. Mormon scholars go on archeological digs to find Nephite remains. Most Mormons I talked to think that those archeological proofs have simply not been found yet because the Americas are big, the jungle covers everything, searches are done at the wrong place, etc.
I'm not up on the ins and outs of Mormonism - i.e. how they apply their theology to living on earth. However, is not their story an off-shoot from the gospel story i.e. they have a historical Jesus. Thus, it's not things of the spirit (however defined) that is at the root of their theology but a historical Jesus figure. i.e the foundation of their faith goes back to a flesh and blood Jesus figure, albeit a figure that had a supernatural existence prior to becoming flesh and blood. It's not like Carrier's mythicism theory where things begin in the celestial realm but never have a flesh and blood, earthly, reality. (Jesus is mythical, literary, not flesh and blood). Once flesh and blood enter the picture then historicity becomes an issue to be dealt with not dismissed re Carrier's mythicism.

The LDS relationship to history is a truly interesting one. My suggestion is this Ph.D. thesis from 2011:
History through Seer Stones: Mormon Historical Thought
It gives a wonderful insight into how the human mind processes history, or what it thinks history is.

By the way, it's also a good example how, when a faith grows, it tries to polish the harsh edges somewhat. Old mainstays of faith become allegorized and the whole community gets pushed into more mainstream waters.

There are even more parallels: the family of the founder has been marginalized and represents a very small community with quite different tenets of faith from what most people know as Mormonism. They are much closer to standard Christianity. The bulk of the faithful had been taken over by a charismatic leader who put his own stamp on the faith. Well, even that looks somewhat familiar.

I think studying the history of the LDS and Mormonism should be on the schedule of everyone who dives into the relationship of history and religion.
Methinks, it's how the OT writers and the NT writers deal with history that is primary. Not forgetting Josephus and Philo......Need to get the basics right before any latter day movements become relevant for research into early christian origins :)
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

Ulan
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by Ulan » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:44 am

maryhelena wrote:I'm not up on the ins and outs of Mormonism - i.e. how they apply their theology to living on earth. However, is not their story an off-shoot from the gospel story i.e. they have a historical Jesus. Thus, it's not things of the spirit (however defined) that is at the root of their theology but a historical Jesus figure. i.e the foundation of their faith goes back to a flesh and blood Jesus figure, albeit a figure that had a supernatural existence prior to becoming flesh and blood.
You are missing several key aspects of this. The faith is based on the appearance of an angel, which is pretty much what you denied in your post. Also, while they propose a flesh & blood Jesus figure, all of Jesus' exploits in the Americas are done after his resurrection (into a god, what else). Also, what is the most important aspect here is that all this history is fake. The whole faith is based on invented, fake history. Not small aspects of it, but the whole book is one long description of fake history.
maryhelena wrote:It's not like Carrier's mythicism theory where things begin in the celestial realm but never have a flesh and blood, earthly, reality. (Jesus is mythical, literary, not flesh and blood). Once flesh and blood enter the picture then historicity becomes an issue to be dealt with not dismissed re Carrier's mythicism.
No, in Mormonism the celestial realm (literally stars in space here) is built from spirit matter, a la Paul. That part of history takes place in the spirit realm, which is of course part of the physical realm. Jesus in Mormonism is an angel who comes from the spirit realm to Earth. Like everyone of us, too.
maryhelena wrote:Methinks, it's how the OT writers and the NT writers deal with history that is primary. Not forgetting Josephus and Philo......Need to get the basics right before any latter day movements become relevant for research into early christian origins :)
That's a given. However, study of Mormonism would cure you from your wrong ideas of the role of history in building a religion. You would recognize that your position is simply untenable. There doesn't have to be even a shred of real history in fake history to base a religion on.

maryhelena
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by maryhelena » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:36 am

Ulan wrote:
maryhelena wrote:I'm not up on the ins and outs of Mormonism - i.e. how they apply their theology to living on earth. However, is not their story an off-shoot from the gospel story i.e. they have a historical Jesus. Thus, it's not things of the spirit (however defined) that is at the root of their theology but a historical Jesus figure. i.e the foundation of their faith goes back to a flesh and blood Jesus figure, albeit a figure that had a supernatural existence prior to becoming flesh and blood.
You are missing several key aspects of this. The faith is based on the appearance of an angel, which is pretty much what you denied in your post. Also, while they propose a flesh & blood Jesus figure,
I don't go further than that! If Mormonism ascribes to a flesh and blood Jesus then they are making a historical claim. Not in the least bit interested in whatever else they add to that basic historical claim.


all of Jesus' exploits in the Americas are done after his resurrection (into a god, what else). Also, what is the most important aspect here is that all this history is fake. The whole faith is based on invented, fake history. Not small aspects of it, but the whole book is one long description of fake history.
maryhelena wrote:It's not like Carrier's mythicism theory where things begin in the celestial realm but never have a flesh and blood, earthly, reality. (Jesus is mythical, literary, not flesh and blood). Once flesh and blood enter the picture then historicity becomes an issue to be dealt with not dismissed re Carrier's mythicism.
No, in Mormonism the celestial realm (literally stars in space here) is built from spirit matter, a la Paul. That part of history takes place in the spirit realm, which is of course part of the physical realm. Jesus in Mormonism is an angel who comes from the spirit realm to Earth. Like everyone of us, too.
What are you saying here - ''like everyone of us, too'' ?? I'm afraid that mysticism is just not my cup of tea....

maryhelena wrote:Methinks, it's how the OT writers and the NT writers deal with history that is primary. Not forgetting Josephus and Philo......Need to get the basics right before any latter day movements become relevant for research into early christian origins :)
That's a given. However, study of Mormonism would cure you from your wrong ideas of the role of history in building a religion. You would recognize that your position is simply untenable. There doesn't have to be even a shred of real history in fake history to base a religion on.
''cure (me) from (my) wrong ideas of the role of history in building a religion''!! That a religion can be build on nothing more than wishful thinking does not rule out a religion being build upon a foundation of historical reality. Whatever else the OT is about re the supernatural - it's prophetic interests demonstrate that history was fundamental to a Jewish concept of religion. Prophecy requires, demands, that history be relevant to a Jewish understanding of their religion. Yes, by all means run with religion as wishful thinking about imaginary stuff - but that way will not achieve a forward movement in seeking to understand early christian origins. If the Jews have offered nothing else to the world it is that memories of their history are securely enfolded by their religion. Judaism without history is unthinkable.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

Ulan
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Re: An Introduction to David Trobisch

Post by Ulan » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:29 am

maryhelena wrote:What are you saying here - ''like everyone of us, too'' ?? I'm afraid that mysticism is just not my cup of tea....
Every human being is an angel who, according to the Salvation Plan, is born into flesh & blood to prove himself. Every human being has the potential to become a god afterwards. And God, of course, also started as a flesh & blood being (not on Earth, he's from Kolob). He's just transferring skills. So far about "history" in "flesh & blood".
maryhelena wrote:That a religion can be build on nothing more than wishful thinking does not rule out a religion being build upon a foundation of historical reality.
I only gave this example to show that "wishful thinking" and "historical reality" are often indistinguishable, as the Mormon example nicely shows. I have added a few excerpts of what Mormons consider history in this thread in order not to bog down the Trobisch thread any more than that.

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